By Cheryl K. Chumley
Individuals with connections to al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations repeatedly tried to obtain jobs in US intelligence community; ‘One of five CIA applicants has connections to hostile groups’
An estimated one-fifth of a subset of all applicants for Central Intelligence Agency positions had significant ties to the terror groups Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda, a newly released document from NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s collection revealed Monday.
The document — released by Mr. Snowden as part of his National Security Agency intelligence dump — said the terrorist groups worked hard to infiltrate America’s top security agencies. CIA officials uncovered thousands of applicants, roughly one in five of a subset, with “significant terrorist and/or hostile intelligence connections,” the document states, as Ynet News reported.
The specifics of those ties were not revealed, but the groups most often cited as attempting to infiltrate the U.S. intelligence network were al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.
The NSA, in response, launched investigations into 4,000 instances of suspected abnormal staff activity, Ynet News said. Those investigations included the tracking of employee keystrokes on agency computers and the recording of document downloads.
“Over the last several years, a small subset of CIA’s total job applicants were flagged due to various problems or issues,” one unnamed agency official said, as Ynet News reported.“During this period, one in five of that small subset was found to have significant connections to hostile intelligence services and-or terrorist groups.”